With just an hour before the switch was flipped at the 92nd Annual Country Club Plaza Lighting Ceremony, Emma Pefley and Kate Johnson have found pride of place near the stage.
It was a place with enough space for them to vigorously hammer their green glow sticks to keep time with “Let It Snow!” Let it snow! Let it snow! ”And“ All I want for Christmas is you ”amid the bursts of laughter.
Pefley recently moved to Las Vegas from his hometown of Lenexa. After attending the lighting ceremony once before, she wanted to bring Johnson, from Olathe, a novice.
“We wanted to see all the festivities in Kansas City,” Pefley said.
Wayne Wise and Stephanie Bastion from Wichita were also first-time attendees.
“We are having a great time. It’s awesome, ”Wise said, before setting off in search of a hot drink.
In 2020, the ceremony was a broadcast-only event with some people socially distancing themselves on the sidewalks and rooftops of parking lots, as cars roamed the streets.
This year’s event kicked off at 5 p.m. with performances by Quixotic and the Musical Theater Heritage. Families, couples and friends wandered the blocked streets of the Plaza, window shopping and forming long lines at Starbucks as temperatures cooled. Customers also visited the new dessert store, Sugahrush Berries, near the stage.
Members of the Kansas City Current women’s soccer team flipped the switch, followed by fireworks.
Bill and Janet Vasu moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Overland Park in January, so the couple were also attending the lighting ceremony for the first time.
“We heard it was really cool,” he said.